C2C - Route 7
Route Section: Standhope>The End
From Start: 176km (110m) | From Finish: 48km (30m) Tynemouth: 40km (25m) Sunderland/Roker Pier.
Newcastle 29km (18m)
Washington 21km (13m)
Out of Consett: heading for Tynemouth.
At Consett the routes part company for the penultimate time. One goes to Sunderland and the other to Newcastle. The split in the route comes just after the Hownsgill viaduct, although you can still opt either way from the centre of Consett.
If you go left after the viaduct (1.4km before Consett) you will be on NCN Route 14. It transects Route 7 at Lydgetts Junction just by the big red rail wagon.
You cross the A692 and follow the Route 14 signs onto another traffic-free section.
You can also continue into Consett on Route 7, exiting the centre on another Route 14 braid at the big Morrisons shopping island.
Continue past McDonalds up to Consett Park before rejoining the main Route 14 path at Blackhill Park towards Newcastle and Tynemouth.
You will pass the outskirts of Shotley Bridge, a pretty village, Ebchester and Hamsterley Mill and then along the Derwent Walk to Rowlands Gill.
Out of Consett: heading for Sunderland.
- See Stanley & Beamish section.
The pathway is dotted with imaginative Sustrans signage and sculptures cast from industrial relics.
Just before Consett are the Terris Novalis sculptures, which overlook the 700-acre site of what was once the mighty Consett Steelworks. The Turner prize winning works, a stainless steel theodolite and an engineer's level by Tony Cragg, are nearly 7m tall, are 20 times life size, and symbolise regeneration in an area convulsed by the death of heavy industry towards the end of the last century.
The artworks were commissioned by Sustrans and will stand as a monument to this admirable body long after the combustion engine has coughed its last. "The work sited at Consett marks the watershed between the upland/moorland landscape and the extremes of the Industrial Age," says the Sustrans website. "Local people see this landmark as a monument to the scale of local industry and its demise - the tragedy that has followed."
Places of Interest
Phileas Fogg - alias Derwent Valley Foods Factory. You will smell it before you see it.
Shotley Bridge, believe it or not, is an old spa town, well-known for German sword-makers in the 17th century.
C2C Features: dotted along the line are story-boards set on vertical sleepers which interpret the history of the railway. These are chapters taken from a novel, The Celestial Railroad, by John Downie.
Consett Cycle Co, 62 Medomsley Rd 01207 581205
The Bike Bus, The Bus Station, Stanley, Co Durham DH9 0TD Cyclist and bike transport specialists. Transport throughout the UK and size of group no object. Very competitive rates. 01207 237424 www.stanleytaxis.co.uk / firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to Eat and Drink
Maddisons , 26 Front St, DH8 5AQ. One of the best pit stops on the route, they serve great food and take special care of C2Cers. Secure area for bikes at the back. Fresh squeezed juices, splendid wines, cocktails and craft beers, delicious home baked breads, cakes, pastries and scones. Plus an extensive menu of hearty fare. 01207 583318.
Jolly Drovers pub, Leadgate, Consett, DH8 6RR. New lease of life breathed into this pub on the route, with great food now served all day. The owners have spent a lot of time and money and getting the Drovers just right and now there is a combination of bar food and restaurant fare, plus all manner of drinks. Bike rack outside. Ideal fuel-stop before the final stretch. Click here. 01207 503999.
Where To Sleep
Crown and Crossed Swords Hotel
Run by: Sheila, Victoria or Maureen
Vibrant pub in the heart of the scenic village of Shotley Bridge, a short hop from the Consett-Rowlands Gill route. Lovely old fashioned public bar with coal fire and well kept real ale. There's also a lounge bar, restaurant and ten letting rooms. Private car park. Time has stood still here. But no-one stands still in the new and popular Swordmaker's Restaurant, with its home-cooked traditional dishes. Open Mon-Fri 4-9pm; Sat 12-9pm; Sun 12-3pm.
Rooms: 1S, 2D, 4T, 3F (4 en-suite).
B&B: from £25 if sharing (twin rooms: £50). Single occ: £30.
Eve meal: Swordmaker's Restaurant (closed Sunday night).
Pk lunch: please book in advance.
Secure cycle parking.
Distance from route: 500 metres.
Ideal for groups (up to 21).
Delta North Consett (formerly Consett YMCA)
Run by: Lucy Malpass
There is a lounge / conservatory area with a colour TV and pool table as well as a recently landscaped garden with outdoor seating area and BBQ. The hostel has 10 rooms with accommodation for 47 guests. Minimum booking of 6 guests. They can also provide outdoor activities at an additional charge. Activities include canoeing, rock climbing and gorge walking. Please enquire for further details on available activities.
Rooms: 10 multi-occ.
Bed only: £15.
Eve Meal: £7.
Pk lunch: £4.
Run by: Heather Price
One of the best pit stops on the route, Maddisons serves great food and takes special care of C2Cers. There's now a secure area for bikes at the back of this independent 'drinks house & eatery' where, quite apart from fresh squeezed juices, splendid wines, cocktails and craft beers, you can eat delicious home baked breads, cakes, pastries and scones.
Food ranges from £1.95 for cakes to £7.95 for an all-out Geordie breakfast burger. There is also Ruben Northern Style (homemade Yorkshire pudding filled with pastrami and mustard gravy), Croque Maddison (toasted organic white or wholemeal pulled ham sandwich topped with welsh rarebit: £4.95) and a toothsome flatbread with balsamic beetroot, red onion, feta, pomegranate and rocket (£5.95). They have a repertoire of 450 different scones!
And any sort of sandwich you could think of. A great resource well worth taking the trouble to find.
Open : 7 days a week 9-5.
Secure cycle storage.